Friday, November 7, 2008

Review: Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult

I purchased this novel by Jodi Picoult during a recent 50% off sale at Fictionwise. I enjoyed it immensely. I have read other books by Picoult, and this was definitely on par with her other works in terms of quality and readability.

The story concerns Ellie Hathaway, a high-powered lawyer who escapes to her childhood vacation spot following a devastating trial and some issues on the homefront. While staying with her aunt, she becomes unwittingly involved in a trial involving an Amish girl who may or may not have murdered her newborn baby.

Katie, the Amish girl, is not initially the most sympathetic character, but there are some twists that make her more relateable. The Amish world is nicely drawn and clearly well-researched, and Picoult tries to make this family seem like real people and not just cliches. In some cases, this does not quite succeed---the father, for example, never develops much of a character beyond 'the strict Amish father.' But Picoult gives the family an intriguing backstory, and the theme of lost children (and what that means to various characters) is nicely woven in throughout the book.

Ellie's own issues about love and babies and family also factor into the story. The ex-boyfriend makes few appearances, but is not developed as fully as he could have been. A few flashbacks of their life together would not have been amiss. Of course, as is typical in this type of chick-lit, Ellie does develop a romance during the story, and it's nicely done. Everyone pretty much gets the ending they deserve, and it was certainly a page-turner! I was eager to find out how it ended.

There was a few formatting mistakes in the e-book I purchased from Fictionwise, and this bothered me a little considering that the book goes for pretty much the full retail price. If they are going to charge 'real book' prices, then they need to make sure the e-edition is properly edited. I don't think such mistakes are unique to this title, but I do think it's something Fictionwise needs to perhaps address at some point. Some examples included random hyphenations of some words, and the appearance of the author's name in the text at a few random points. The book was definitely still read-able though! It just rankled some to buy a 'real' book from an established non-amateur author and have such issues cropping up in a presumably well-edited text.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to someone who enjoys this genre or this author. I enjoyed it immensely and found it a satisfying and well-told story.

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